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Brain Imaging

Left prefrontal activation during episodic remembering: an event‐related fMRI study

Nolde, Scott F.1; Johnson, Marcia K.1,3; D'Esposito, Mark2

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THE major current theory relating brain mechanisms in prefrontal cortex (PFC) to memory for discrete events (episodic memory) emphasizes the role of right PFC during retrieval. Using event-related fMRI, we found both right and left PFC activity during episodic remembering, but only the left PFC activity was related to the amount of episodic detail required at test. We suggest that right PFC subserves relatively simple, heuristic, cognitive processes and that left PFC is recruited for more reflectively demanding, systematic, processes. Episodic remembering often requires such systematic processes and, under those circumstances, recruits left, as well as right, PFC.

© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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